Arthroscopy is an important diagnostic and therapeutic technique for management of disorders of the joints. Ankle arthroscopy can be useful in treating a variety of intra-articular disorders, which may be caused by trauma or by degenerative, inflammatory, or neoplastic conditions. In some cases, the ankle joint disorder may be related to extra-articular anomalies, which may be regional (eg, mechanical malalignment in the lower extremity) or systemic (eg, inflammatory arthritis).
What Are the Risks of Ankle Arthroscopy Surgery?
Ankle arthroscopy is a relatively safe procedure with low complication rates.
- As with any procedure involving the introduction of instruments to a normally sterile area, infection is a risk.
- Bleeding from cut blood vessels may also occur.
- Some people may have local nerve damage from the procedure making the overlying skin numb.
- There are risks in using any kind of anesthesia, depending on the type that is chosen.
How Do You Prepare for Ankle Arthroscopy Surgery?
In general, you should refrain from eating or drinking the day of the surgery. Check with your surgeon regarding prescription medications and herbal medications that you may be taking. The surgeon may ask you not to take blood-thinning agents such as aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin) for a few days prior to the surgery. Arrange for transportation home after the procedure if it is an outpatient procedure.
- Car accidents. The crushing injuries common in car accidents may cause breaks that require surgical repair.
- Falls. Tripping and falling can break bones in your feet, as can landing on your feet after jumping down from just a slight height.
- Impact from a heavy weight. Dropping something heavy on your foot is a common cause of fractures.
- Missteps. Sometimes just putting your foot down wrong can result in a broken bone. A toe can get broken from stubbing your toes on furniture.
- Overuse. Stress fractures are common in the weight-bearing bones of your feet. These tiny cracks are usually caused over time by repetitive force or overuse, such as running long distances. But they can also occur with normal use of a bone that’s been weakened by a condition such as osteoporosis.
What Happens During Ankle Arthroscopy Surgery?
You will be brought to the operating room and prepped for anesthesia and surgery. An IV line will be started. The ankle, foot, and leg will be exposed, cleaned, and sterilized. Depending on the type of anesthesia chosen, a tube may be placed in your throat to assist with breathing, once you are asleep. The ankle will be numbed locally or with a regional anesthetic block. Once you are anesthetized, small incisions will be made for the portals.
The portals, or small tubes, will be placed in different areas around the ankle for the instruments and camera to be placed in. The surgeon will then perform the procedure. Afterward, the instruments and portals will be removed. The small incisions will be stitched closed and bandaged.